President Obama Signs Gun Control Executive Orders - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

President Obama Signs Gun Control Executive Orders, Pushes Congress for More

Posted: Updated:
President Barack Obama on Wednesday pressed a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. President Barack Obama on Wednesday pressed a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Wednesday pressed a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

A month after that horrific massacre, Obama also used his presidential powers to enact 23 measures that don't require the backing of lawmakers. The president's executive actions include ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks, appointing a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.

RELATED: Read the President's Gun Control Proposal

But the president, speaking at White House ceremony, focused his attention on the divided Congress, saying only lawmakers could enact the most effective measures for preventing more mass shootings.

"To make a real and lasting difference, Congress must act," Obama said. "And Congress must act soon."

The president vowed to use "whatever weight this office holds" to press lawmakers into action on his $500 million plan. He is also calling for improvements in school safety, including putting 1,000 police officers in schools and bolstering mental health care by training more health professionals to deal with young people who may be at risk.

Even supportive lawmakers say the president's gun control proposals - most of which are opposed by the powerful National Rifle Association - face long odds on Capitol Hill.

Acknowledging the tough fight ahead, Obama said there will be pundits, politicians and special interest groups that will seek to "gin up fear" that the White House wants to take away the right to own a gun.

"Behind the scenes, they'll do everything they can to block any commonsense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever," he said. "The only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids."

RELATED: White House Calls NRA Video Repugnant, Cowardly

The president based his proposals on recommendations from an administration-wide task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. His plan marks the most comprehensive effort to address gun violence since Congress passed the 1994 ban on high-grade, military-style assault weapons.

The ban expired in 2004, and Obama wants lawmakers to renew and expand it.

Other measures Obama wants Congress to take up include limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for all gun buyers in an attempt to close the so-called "gun-show loophole" that allows people to buy guns at trade shows and over the Internet without submitting to background checks.

Obama also intends to seek confirmation for B. Todd Jones, who has served as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives since 2011.

The president's long list of executive orders also include:

- Ordering tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks and requiring federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

- Ending limits that make it more difficult for the government to research gun violence, such as gathering data on guns that fall into criminal hands.

- Requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

- Giving schools flexibility to use federal grant money to improve school safety, such as by hiring school resource officers.

- Giving communities grants to institute programs to keep guns away from people who shouldn't have them.

  • Online Poll

  • Do you support the President's gun control proposals?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes.
    28%
    408 votes
    No.
    72%
    1066 votes
  • Related Story

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Blount County DA cracking down on degrading social media accounts

    Blount County DA cracking down on degrading social media accounts

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:06 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:06:14 GMT
    Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey is on a mission to shut down several Instagram accounts degrading young women throughout the county. The accounts with names such as "WHORESOFBLOUNTCOUNTY" and "SLUTSOFSUSANMORE" show pictures of teenagers with degrading comments underneath. Casey said the pictures are used without the girls' permission. One site has been taken down, and Casey has asked the social media website to remove them all.More >>
    Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey is on a mission to shut down several Instagram accounts degrading young women throughout the county. The accounts with names such as "WHORESOFBLOUNTCOUNTY" and "SLUTSOFSUSANMORE" show pictures of teenagers with degrading comments underneath. Casey said the pictures are used without the girls' permission. One site has been taken down, and Casey has asked the social media website to remove them all.More >>
  • IndyCar drivers Power, Pagenaud enter Barber weekend with tension over Long Beach incident

    IndyCar drivers Power, Pagenaud enter Barber weekend with tension over Long Beach incident

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:00 PM EDT2014-04-25 01:00:42 GMT
    A week off did nothing to mellow the tension between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power stemming from contact between the two at Long Beach.More >>
    A week off did nothing to mellow the tension between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power stemming from contact between the two at Long Beach.
    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa documents city's post-tornado progress in three videos

    Tuscaloosa documents city's post-tornado progress in three videos

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:08:47 GMT
     Motto: Safer, Smarter & StrongerMore >>
     Motto: Safer, Smarter & StrongerMore >>
  • Authorities find body of Riverside man who went missing in Lake Logan Martin

    Authorities find body of Riverside man who went missing in Lake Logan Martin

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:57:29 GMT
    ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. -- Authorities have found the body of a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake last weekend."At approximately 2:40 pm today the body of Mr. Willie Cosby was recovered from Logan Martin Lake in Riverside by search personnel," St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said in a released statement. "Mr. Cosby was located in the area where multiple agencies have been searching since Monday morning."Cosby, 48, was fishing with his wife when he fell from the boat at ...More >>
    ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. -- Authorities have found the body of a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake last weekend."At approximately 2:40 pm today the body of Mr. Willie Cosby was recovered from Logan Martin Lake in Riverside by search personnel," St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said in a released statement. "Mr. Cosby was located in the area where multiple agencies have been searching since Monday morning."Cosby, 48, was fishing with his wife when he fell from the boat at ...More >>
  • Birmingham leaders criticize teen "wet" and "twerk" parties

    Birmingham leaders criticize teen "wet" and "twerk" parties

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:40:34 GMT
    Recent parties asking teens to "freak," "twerk" and "get wet" are raising safety concerns among Birmingham City leaders.Some of the parties have been held at the Continental Ballroom and other venues for quite some time. Earlier this month, a shooting at the Continental Ballroom resulted in one teenager's injuries. City leaders, consequently, revoked the owner and party promoter's business licenses for that incident and prior complaints.But other upcoming teen parties are planned. They all ch...More >>
    Recent parties asking teens to "freak," "twerk" and "get wet" are raising safety concerns among Birmingham City leaders.Some of the parties have been held at the Continental Ballroom and other venues for quite some time. Earlier this month, a shooting at the Continental Ballroom resulted in one teenager's injuries. City leaders, consequently, revoked the owner and party promoter's business licenses for that incident and prior complaints.But other upcoming teen parties are planned. They all ch...More >>
  • Shelby County mom expected in court next week

    Shelby County mom expected in court next week

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:39 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:39:08 GMT
    Prosecutors in Shelby County have asked a judge to require an Alabaster mother to undergo random drug and alcohol screenings.More >>
    Prosecutors in Shelby County have asked a judge to require an Alabaster mother to undergo random drug and alcohol screenings.More >>
  • Housing director: pipe replacement complete in Marks Village

    Housing director: pipe replacement complete in Marks Village

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:37:50 GMT
    All piping inside the Mark Village Housing Development in Gate City has been replaced, according to Naomi Truman, executive director of the Housing Authority--Birmingham District. Truman told ABC 33/40More >>
    Continuing coverageMore >>
  • Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden officer

    Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden officer

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:06:29 GMT
    An Etowah County drug investigator who suffered a severe brain injury last month began taking steps in rehab this week.A truck collided with Gary Pierce as he rode his motorcycle while off duty March 15. He spent four week in intensive care at UAB before a transfer to Spain Rehabilitation Center.Pierce walked more than 250 feet Wednesday with the assistance of a walker. His commander at the Etowah County Drug Task Force, Rob Savage, said Pierce shows signs of improvement every day."He's talki...More >>
    An Etowah County drug investigator who suffered a severe brain injury last month began taking steps in rehab this week.A truck collided with Gary Pierce as he rode his motorcycle while off duty March 15. He spent four week in intensive care at UAB before a transfer to Spain Rehabilitation Center.Pierce walked more than 250 feet Wednesday with the assistance of a walker. His commander at the Etowah County Drug Task Force, Rob Savage, said Pierce shows signs of improvement every day."He's talki...More >>